Rye and Date (zero sugar) Rusks


I love food. I love cooking. I love baking. Most of all, I love eating, and I think my favourite thing in the world is a rusk. A rusk is a very South African thing. A dry, ugly, high fibre, fattening carb, that I simply will never be able to live without. A rusk is dipped in your (usually morning) coffee or tea, and soaked for a few seconds until just soft enough to bite off easily, but not mushy.

I start panicking when I see that my rusks are running low.

When we decided to stop eating sugar, I was a little devastated. Not because of the chocolate, ice cream or milkshakes that I would be going without, but because of my rusks. My morning companion, helping me enter the day with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. I literally wake up thinking about rusks (sometimes).  But then I met someone who bakes sugar free rusks, without artificial sweetener: with dates! Duh!? Dates are like the sweetest and tastiest thing on earth, after rusks.


So I put a few recipes together and came up with this one. I use stone ground rye flour because I believe it’s healthier. It’s obviously not gluten free. But I feel good eating, and therefore using, rye. I’m sure you could substitute it with gluten free flour.


Here is the recipe:

Continue reading


Zero Waste Baby Shower


So I was asked to help organise a baby shower for a really good friend. The problem was, that I had just gone Zero Waste. Which isn’t a problem, at all, but it does leave one with a few logistical considerations when organising a party.

I would like to mention that I was not solely responsible for the organisation, therefore complete Zero Waste was not possible. But I think we did quite  well…

We decided on a picnic in the Pretoria Botanical Gardens. The gardens are beautiful, with lovely big trees. It is so green at the moment after all the rain we’ve been having!

BUT when organising a picnic for so many people, it usually goes with a lot of waste… We decided to do it in the following way. Continue reading

Zero Waste Shopping Success


I have had the best Zero Waste Shopping day ever.  Okay. It’s like my third Zero Shopping day. But this has been a really successful shopping day in terms of packaging.

My husband is busy working on a friends album in Pretoria, so my daughter and I went to Pretoria, and stayed over at the studio. On our way back home I bought the most beautiful second hand glass jars from Bellbottoms, an awesome antique store in Pierneef Street. I then passed by Carl’s Coffee, in 18th street, to fill up on some coffee beans. They were willing to put the beans directly into my glass jars. Continue reading

Danél – 1. Waste – 0. Frustration – 10.


It was all going really well.  In fact I was on top of the world.  No waste for one day. Oh yes. Golden star. 100%. Noddy badge. Difference maker etc etc. I had bought two take away cappuccino in my own EcoSoulife Cafe Traveler, refused my cash slips and placed my take away in my own cotton serviette. Day 1 was a breeze. What could possibly go wrong. Continue reading

Zero Waste: ready, steady, throw


The less you have, the less you have to worry about ||Gautama Buddha||

So it has now been about 10 days since starting this new Zero Waste Home lifestyle.

Step 1: Decluttering our home.

We live in a  very small house on a beautiful farm near Walkerville, Gauteng. Our house does not have any built in closets. Actually, it doesn’t really have any cupboards. So when  we moved there from a rather large home (5 bedrooms) in Pretoria, in June 2016,  all our ‘stuff’ had to fit into our new home. Needless to stay, it didn’t. Not even half. So we went European and made everything we thought we needed (thought) fit. We put things under, on top, behind, and everywhere we could find an open space.  My clothes couldn’t fit in my loose standing closet, so there were things stacked on top.  The closet didn’t really fit into the room either.  We placed the rest in storage.

Now, the problem with this clever Europeanization of our home is that it became extremely cluttered. Constantly having to bend down and reach under the bed for something became really frustating. The house became untidy because it was too much trouble to place things back where they belonged.  A little cockroach family moved in, along with a lot of dust. We found a Rinkhals (very poisonous snake) right outside our house. A rat in our daughter’s room. A blind snake under my sink (not dangerous, but hey) and many frogs. Clutter + animals = Great hiding and breeding spots.

WE HAD TO DECLUTTER. Continue reading

Zero Waste. Zero Waste. Zero Waste.


A few months ago, as I was throwing another non-recyclable object into our small general waste bin I suddenly became very frustrated and discouraged.

At that point I was recycling and using cloth diapers (mostly), but it all suddenly felt like I was not really making such a big difference after all.  I always felt so good about myself when dropping my recyling off at Pikitup, or when paying Open Sky Recyling to pick my recycling up from our curb when we were still living in Rietondale, Pretoria. But I was still sending bin after bin to the landfill, week after week, in a plastic bag, filled with plastic bags.

“I guess you can’t win” I said to my husband.

Then about a month later I was discussing my interest in having a capsule closet with my sister in law, she shared a Tedtalk by Bea Johnson about her Zero Waste Home with me. In the video Bea mentions her capsule closet of 15 items, BUT, she mainly discusses ZERO WASTE. Here I would like to shout and if I could add a sound clip I would.


Dood van die Onskuldiges

 Bloedkolson rol oor die rand

Karoovlakwind sny koud
Blikkeëls roep: Onskuldig! Onskuldig!
Laksman wag by die sout

Veroordeelde kom op die wa
Daar’s geen gespot of gespoeg
Hangoortjies kopwip oor die klip
Bene vas maar daar’s geen gewroeg

Lemmetjie skerp op stompe klip
Japieskapiehond is lus
Bloedspoorpote met watermond
Gevoniste: Onbewus

Dan snel skerp lem deur woltaai vel
Voetjies spartel en skop
Bloed roggel en spuit en drup
Liggaam verwyder van kop

Velletjie van bossieskaap geskil
Blaas gaan na die hond
Drolletjies uit vetderm geryg
Grassies sit nog in die mond

Die dood van langstert-skapie-mê:
Vir vleisies vet en rooi
Wat wynvlektande deur kan byt
Beentjies vir woef gegooi


Die grootlewergans
Die afkeelskaap
Servet op die skoot,
Voor my sagte Fois Gras

Die afkophoender
Die penkop bees
“Ek wil nie weet nie,
Ek wil net eet.”